Review: Christiansen

““Forensics Brothers and Sisters””
(Revelation Records)

The stop/start bass challenged by guitars sewing themselves needle-like into the opening track, ‘Jhazz never spelled so good’ immediately sets this 6-song release into its own.  Much more erratic and challenging than previous Christiansen releases, exchanging some of the pretty melodies for edgier song structures and tension building arrangements.  An amazing growth if you’d previous works.  What was sweetly rocking melodies on the indie rock tip, has now become crafted moods, fractured, built up and stuck together and proclaimed ‘beautiful’.  There is an awkward, but appreciated sense of artistic license taken with the song structures and approaches (especially for a 6 song release).  And it’s generally louder in its dynamics, so the crashes and builds are more tangibly evident.  The song ‘Portable Museums’ has an attractive intentional stumble to it’s rhythm that’s both engaging as it is unusual.  ‘Let Us Now Die Famous Men’ holds down a dramatic vocal delivery – passionate and disjointed from the musical rhythms, soaring above and beyond them, rather than fighting against the warm, jagged guitars.  Even when they busted out a piano on ‘Transistorized Landscapes’ and I started to doubt the approach, Christiansen excel by not dragging a good idea into repetition, rather they construct around the good hooks, pasting them together with clever interludes and unexpected song shifts.  Their first two full lengths are completely worthy, but on a more melodic path.  “Forensics Brothers and Sisters” shows the best is yet to come from Christiansen.